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Long Island Elections 2011: Complete Long Island Voters’ Guide

Long Island Elections: Long Island Voter's Guide 2011

District 1

Kevan Abrahams
(D, WF, I-Hempstead)
Abrahams, now is his fourth term, has been actively fighting to restore funding to social service, youth, community health, minority services and senior programs. A lifelong Hempstead resident, he’s most vocal in his opposition to any cuts in service or hike in fares as the county privatizes Long Island Bus.


Rodney McRae
(R, C-Roosevelt)
McRae, a Roosevelt resident for 20 years, is the director of pre-trial services at the county Human Rights Commission. He has been an executive member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Committee. He wants to promote economic development of Roosevelt and Uniondale to attract business.

District 2

Robert Troiano
(D, WF, I-Westbury)
Troiano, a freshman lawmaker, has been pushing for revitalization in New Cassel, a community scandalized by his predecessor. When he was a North Hempstead Town councilman, a project he sponsored was cited by Hofstra University as a model of suburban redevelopment. He is also a former Westbury school board president.

Karin Campbell
As Westbury village’s commissioner of parks and recreation, she ranks high on her agenda quality of life concerns, taxes and illegal rental properties. She was ousted as president of the Westbury school board following a lengthy legal feud challenging her successors and ran unsuccessfully for North Hempstead Town council in 2009.

District 3

John Ciotti
(R, C, I, TR-Valley Stream)
Ciotti, the deputy presiding officer who chairs the budget and the minority affairs committees, has represented his district since the county legislature was formed in 1995 and is running for his ninth term. He recently fired a campaign volunteer allegedly recorded making a racial comment about his opponent’s sister.

Carrié Solages
(D, WF-Elmont)
A former Bronx prosecutor, Solages practices at his family’s Elmont-based law firm and serves on the county Human Rights Commission. He has been advocating against the plan to privatize Long Island Bus and seeks to fight for quality education, clean and safe parks, and low property taxes.

District 4

Denise A. Ford
(R, C, I-Long Beach)
Although a registered Democrat, Ford caucuses with the GOP, making her one of the few wildcards in the Republican majority. She’s represented her district since 2003, helping to bring the first farmers’ market to the city featuring locally grown food. Ford chairs the legislature’s economic and community development and labor committees.

Darlene Tangney
(D, WF-Long Beach)
Tangney, a Long Beach School Board trustee and past vice president, is a founding member of the Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking. One of her key issues is providing affordable housing to retain young people on Long Island. Her run comes as Democratic city council candidates hope to recapture the majority.

District 5

Joseph Scannell
(D, WF-Baldwin)
Scannell, a former Nassau prosecutor seeking his eighth term, is the ranking member of the public safety committee. Among the more vocal minority legislators, he has been a leading critic of the county executive’s proposal to close two police precincts—which excludes a planned new stationhouse in his town.

Christian Browne
(R, C-Rockville Centre)
Browne is a former Manhattan prosecutor with a Garden City-based private practice who is challenging Scannell for the third time on the platform of solving the county’s fiscal problems without raising taxes. As a Hempstead Town zoning board member, he voted for, then against a controversial Wantagh cabaret club’s permit.

District 6

Francis X. Becker
(R, C, I-Lynbrook)
Becker is running for his ninth term after he last year fell short in a bid to unseat Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola). He chairs the towns, villages and cities committee. A certified financial planner, he’s secured funding for community improvement projects in satellite commercial districts in Valley Stream and elsewhere.

Anthony Gonzalez
(D, WF-Valley Stream)
Gonzalez is a local Democratic committeeman who seeks to expand the tax base by providing incentives, especially for Nassau’s young people, to remain here and start businesses. An environmentalist, he favors an offshore wind farm, tax breaks for solar panels and powering government facilities with renewable energy.

District 7

Howard J. Kopel
(R, C, I, TR-Lawrence)
A freshman lawmaker, small business owner and attorney who chairs the government services committee, Kopel unseated his predecessor in 2009, helping the GOP recapture the majority. His campaign remains the same: He wants to fix the county’s property assessment system, restore fiscal health and repair troubled Bay Park sewage plant.

Adam Moser
(D, WF-Hewlett)
A former Nassau District Court Judge, Moser currently practices law in Rockville Center. He opposes a proposal to privatize the county sewer system, and says Republicans wasted money with an early redistricting effort that was overturned in court. Moser especially wants to improve the county’s economic climate for young people.

District 8

Vincent Muscarella
(R, C, I, TR-West Hempstead)
Muscarella, also seeking his ninth term, is an attorney and former four-year state Assemblyman with prior town and county-level experience. As public works committee chair, he’s helped oversee much-needed repairs at the county’s two largest and most troubled sewage treatment plants.

Scott Milano
(D-Garden City)
Milano is an elections clerk in the Nassau County Board of Elections and a Democratic committeeman who’s reportedly not actively campaigning. His priorities are reforming county government and keeping property taxes low. He opposed the county’s $400 million Coliseum referendum because the additional costs of the bond would have burdened taxpayers.

District 9

Richard Nicolello
(R, C, I-New Hyde Park)
An attorney specializing in insurance law, Nicolello is also seeking his ninth term. As chair of the finance committee, he advocates for fiscal restraint, tax incentives, environmental conservation, tax assessment reforms and banning the sale of box cutters to minors. He’s also advocated against the LIRR’s third track project.

Jason Watson
(D-New Hyde Park)
Watson works for the Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism, where he is the coordinator of adult, vocational and family-support services. He’s worked with various autism and community organizations. As a political novice, his goal is to bring a fresh face and more progressive approach to Nassau government.

District 10

Judi Bosworth
(D, WF, I-Great Neck)
Running for her third term after unseating her predecessor, Bosworth is a former teacher and Great Neck school board member who recently proposed fining those who smoke with kids in their vehicles. She was among early critics of police precinct consolidation when the Sixth Precinct was first slated for merger.

Elizabeth Berney
(R, C-Great Neck)
An attorney for a Manhattan-based law firm and local GOP committeewoman, Berney is running again after last year challenging Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) a second time. A fiscal conservative, she applauds the property tax cap recently passed at the state level but wants to make sure local districts don’t skirt it.

District 11

Wayne Wink, Jr.
(D, WF, I-Roslyn)
Running for his third full term, Wink, a former North Hempstead Town councilman and real estate attorney, believes Nassau’s tax assessment system reforms fall short. His bills changed the county assessor from an elected position to a professional appointed position and created the local Amber Alert system for missing senior citizens.

Eric Zausner
(R, C-Port Washington)
A former businessman, Zausner now works for county’s Office of Emergency Management. He says he’d like to sell the naming rights for a proposed new Nassau Coliseum and the county’s major parks to raise much-needed revenue. He’d also shift tax assessment from the county to the towns, like in Suffolk.

District 12

Peter Schmitt
(R, C, I, TR-Massapequa)
Schmitt is running for his ninth term and resumed his role as presiding officer two years ago. As chair of the rules committee, he opposes raising taxes and leads the GOP majority. He is known for his matter-of-fact approach to controlling the often unruly chamber.

John Rennhack
Making his fourth attempt to unseat Schmitt, Rennhack wants to help county government go green and make the legislative process more accessible. He takes issue with lawmakers, particularly his opponent, who rail about government spending then vote themselves raises and waste millions of taxpayer money on losing lawsuits.

District 13

Norma Gonsalves
(R, C, TR-East Meadow)
This retired schoolteacher and longtime civic activist is running for her eighth term in the district that includes the jail and Nassau University Medical Center. She is the alternate presiding officer and chair of the environmental committee who co-sponsored a bill that created Nassau’s landmark open space preservation fund.

Patricia Maher
(D-East Meadow)
Maher is a perennial candidate and former Republican who once again upset a Democratic primary in her quest for a rematch against Gonsalves, a testament to her persistence. Her career includes nonprofit advocacy and working with local civic associations. She lists lowering property taxes and creating jobs as her priorities.

Joseph Spinola
(WF-East Meadow)
Spinola is a lawyer and former Nassau County court judge who had been the Democratic nominee until he lost that line to Maher. A registered Conservative, he also lost that line in the primary to Gonsalves. He favors a privately funded Nassau Coliseum revitalization plan and reforming the tax assessment system.

District 14

Joseph Belesi
(R, C, I, TR-Farmingdale)
This freshman lawmaker is a Vietnam War veteran, retired Nassau police sergeant and ex-union official who on his second try ousted his predecessor two years ago, helping the GOP recapture the majority. He chairs the veterans and seniors committee. As an ex-cop, he has been cautious about the precinct closure plan.

Eva Pearson
(D, WF-Farmingdale)
Pearson is a child therapist, psychology professor and veteran of the first Gulf War. She calls for lower taxes and fostering smart growth developments to stem the so-called brain drain. She also vows to work with the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, cut political patronage and fix the tax assessment system.

District 15

Dennis Dunne
(R, C, I, TR-Levittown)
Dunne, a Vietnam War veteran, is running for his ninth term. He is the former county veterans’ agency director who chairs the public safety committee, and has been among the lawmakers sounding the alarm early about the deterioration of the Cedar Creek sewage plant.

Ethan Irwin
Irwin is a former U.S. Marine and current attorney who last year planned to primary the party designee challenging state Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City). His goals are offering small business incentives to create jobs, fostering solar energy and working with town governments to stop strip clubs and cell phone towers.

District 16

Judith Jacobs
(D, WF, I-Woodbury)
Jacobs, the former presiding officer in the first half of the Suozzi administration, is running for her ninth term. She got her start in politics as a vocal civic and environmental activist and counts a law that bans smoking in restaurants and bars as top among her legislative accomplishments.

Dr. James Milano
(R, C-Oyster Bay)
Milano is an emergency room physician at St. Francis Heart Hospital in Roslyn who last year tried to unseat Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights) while running on a campaign to repeal the recent federal health care reforms. He won GOP primaries to make it on the ballot in both races.

District 17

Rose Marie Walker
(R, C, I, TR-Hicksville)
Walker is a freshman lawmaker and chair of the health committee, running for her second term. She previously served on the Hicksville school board and as an Oyster Bay Town councilwoman. She has been pushing for much-needed downtown revitalization in Hicksville and Bethpage.

Frederick Hagemann III
Hagemann did not respond to requests for comment on his platform and is not actively campaigning.

District 18

Delia DeRiggi-Whitton
(D, WF-Glen Cove)
Whitton is currently a Glen Cove city councilwoman who is hoping to fill the big shoes left by outgoing Minority Leader Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove), the former presiding officer who is not running for re-election. She is also the daughter of a former Republican Glen Cove city mayor.

Rob Germino
(R, C-Glen Cove)
Germino is an Iraq War veteran who works for Mangano after first being hired by the Suozzi administration. He unsuccessfully ran for Glen Cove school board a decade ago and last year tried to unseat state Assemb. Charles Levine (D-Glen Cove). His platform mostly mirrors the county executive’s.

District 19

David Denenberg
(D, WF-Merrick)
Denenberg is an environmental attorney running for his seventh term. He is arguably the most vocal member of the Democratic minority, often frustrating the GOP majority with nonstop questions. He sometimes breaks rank, like when he provided the key vote in allowing the failed Nassau Coliseum referendum this August.

Fred Jones
(R, C-Merrick)
Jones is a chiropractor and civic activist challenging Denenberg for the second time since 2009. He was originally inspired to run for office after Democrats enacted the since-repealed energy tax before they lost the majority two years ago. He touts his experience as a small business owner.

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